No worries for Najib to go to polls: Wood

Written by Cordoba.Ali from Riau, Indonesia

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CLSA‘s ‘well-respected’ equity strategist Christopher Wood believes Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is safe to call for general elections as the economy reels on its latest performances.

Wood said the Malaysian economy is looking better as the 1MDB storm passes and Prime Minister Najib Razak solidifies his power.

Whether the 1MDB storm is really passing or it still a sticky point in Najib’s political career will only be known after the election results, though.

But Wood is so confident about Najib and the 1MDB scandal dying off that he said, “with the Chinese buying the main 1MDB assets last year, the red ink stemming from the pseudo-sovereign wealth fund has been halted.”

This has yet to be seen, said observers to The Independent.

Yet Wood persist in his commentary: “This has allowed Prime Minister Najib Razak to consolidate his political power.

“Indeed, his position politically looks much more secure than was the case one year ago even if it is the case that former Malaysian Prime Minister and UMNO firebrand Mahathir Mohamad joined the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan in December.”

He said while it is true that Najib’s support rating is running at far from stellar levels, there is no hurry for him to go to the polls since a general election does not have to be held until August 2018.

Yet, pro-Barisan Nasional (BN) observers who confided to The Independent in Kuala Lumpur said Najib may be mistaken by delaying snap polls that were thought to be held early this year.

They said the current situation is so much in Najib’s favour that any more delays in capitalising on the division among the opposition and the support from the Islamic party could fizzle in the long run.